ELVIS DUMERVIL is gone. Von Miller is suspended. Champ Bailey is injured. The Denver defense that helped attract Peyton Manning to the Mile High City has been patched and cobbled, repaired and hobbled. Combined with a massive loss on their offensive line, the 3-0 Broncos team hosting the Eagles on Sunday isn’t as bulletproof as it seems.
I disagree with this not only because Marcus Hayes writes it, I disagree with it because it’s stupid even by Marcus Hayes standards.
Hayes posits that the Eagles can win in Denver this week because two players that haven’t stepped on the field this season will once again not be in the lineup and because a third player, Bailey, may not dress for Sunday’s game. Let’s give Hayes the benefit of the doubt and say Bailey doesn’t suit up. Is one starting cornerback enough to really make a difference in the outcome of this game? No chance.
But Ryan Clady is out for the season, too, writes Hayes.
Clady protects Manning’s blind side, and in July was given a 5-year extension that could be worth as much as $57.5 million. That side will be attacked this week by Trent Cole, a converted 4-3 defensive end now playing linebacker in a 3-scheme; but who, really, simply acts as an end on 90 percent of the plays. Cole will be ravenous after three games without a sack.
So hold up. Trent Cole, the same guy who Hayes points out doesn’t have a sack this season, is going to create such havoc against the Chris Clark, Denver’s back up left tackle, that the entire dynamic of the game is going to shift? Peyton Manning isn’t aware of this? He doesn’t still have a decent running game, a trio of playmaking wide receivers, and an athletic tight end?
I appreciate Hayes’ college try to spread some optimism here (not really), but his premise is absurd.